Countries around the world are affected by coronavirus and during this time our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our beneficiaries and our staff.
The Situation in Ethiopia
Case numbers in Ethiopia are low at the time of writing (29 confirmed cases as of 1st April), but it is acknowledged that there is little testing and the actual number is likely to be higher. Cases started in Addis but have now also been confirmed in Oromia and Amhara, where our activities are based.
The Ethiopian government has already closed all schools and universities, closed bars and nightclubs, land borders are now also closed and social distancing is in place in market areas and religious spaces.
In a developing country like Ethiopia, where the health infrastructure is not as strong as it is in countries like the UK, the impact of coronavirus could be devastating and measures must be taken early on to halt the spread of the disease.
Actions We’re Taking
We have taken the following actions in Ethiopia to help ensure the wellbeing of the children, schools and staff involved in our projects:
- All sponsored children have received extra funds this month to enable them to buy food supplies, soap and other sanitation items;
- We continue to support sponsored families with funds and support over the phone, but are avoiding face to face contact to reduce the chance of our staff unknowingly spreading the virus. This unfortunately means that all sponsorship updates are on hold at this time;
- With the closure of schools our teacher training and construction programmes are on hold, as are our football team activities.
Our staff in Ethiopia are available to our beneficiaries and are ready to respond to their needs and to calls from the government for cross-community initiatives, but they are working from home and avoiding travel unless necessary. Our UK office is also closed at this time.
We will continue to revise these measures in line with Ethiopian and UK government guidance and to ensure the safety of our sponsored families and staff.
Your Continued Support
This is a global pandemic and we know that many of our supporters may also be affected by the virus and measures taken to limit its spread in the UK and across the world.
The children and families that Link Ethiopia supports are already some of the most vulnerable in society. If the coronavirus pandemic affects Ethiopia as it has done the UK and other parts of the world, they are most at risk. Your help is needed now more than ever and we thank you for your continued support at this time.